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Tales from tech line Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1998
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If the stories in this book are anything like their jobs, they must get a good laugh now and then. This book shows the funny side of human nature, how people respond when trying to figure out how to work with technology. This is the type of book to keep around and read a couple stories here and there for the humor.
The book is fun and funny and worth getting as a late night read or a bathroom book to read in your off-minutes away from a computer.
The bottom line is that people who have never seen a personal computer before find it pretty confusing to figure out what everything is used for and how to employ them.
As an example, consider the mouse stories. Some people operate them over the keys, while others use the monitor screen. Some people keep them in the plastic bag, thinking this is a dust cover.
Every help desk knows that the most common problems are that computers are either not plugged in or not turned on. The stories here nicely embellish on those themes. One woman worked barefoot and kept hitting the surge suppressor switch with her big toe, turning the computer off. Some people can't find the power switch (what power switch?). One major thought that off stood for official, and wondered why his computer wouldn't conduct official business. One computer system crashed every lunch hour (a contractor had installed a plug in the ladies room, and someone unplugged it at lunch to use the hair dryer daily).
Floppy disk drives present another opportunity. Some people think you just keep putting more and more floppies in, without ever taking one out. Others fail to notice that they don't have a floppy drive, and push floppies into the chassis to just sit there.
Some people find the icons confusing: one woman took the whole family out of the house at 3:37 a.m. when an icon that looked like a bomb came on the screen. She didn't want anyone to be hurt by the bomb in the computer when it exploded.
Of course, the software isn't always that intelligent, either. One program told the user: Cannot find keyboard. Hit F1 to continue.
You will not only find this book humorous, you'll also appreciate the difficulties that other people have with computers. You'll feel better the next time you can't figure out why your computer won't cooperate.
I think it's all an antidote for the one hour and forty-five minutes I spent on a weekend trying to get help from a software vendor without ever getting any useful information. At least I never tried that again. Maybe I should send in my story for the next edition!
Overcome the misconception stall that everyone else has less trouble with computers than you do!
Coauthor of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise (available in August 2000) and The 2,000 Percent Solution
The scary thing is that these stories are true, and many are contained in Tales from the Tech Line, which was edited by David Pogue.
It's mildly frightening to me how little people know about computers, but at the same time, I realize that some of these stories are fairly old. One story involves a newspaper reporter who was typing a story with her monitor off ... and though the brightness just needed to be adjusted. At the same time, there's a story about a woman who was installing hardware, but the tech support person forgot to tell her to turn the computer off.
The moral of the story is that there are a lot of things people don't know about computers. Furthermore, people like to pretend to know more than they do. Combining those two ingredients usually makes for a humorous story, and you'll find many of those in this excerpt book.
This is a "can't put aside book".
Delightfully categorized, so you can read all the modem questions or better still all the printer ones.
Here is proof that truth and human foibles are funnier than fiction. What makes it even funnier is that all of us have had one of these situations at one time or another.
Buy a dozen of these for stocking stuffers, but don't wait for Christmas!